Losing Hope: Effective Millennial Unemployment Rate At 16.2%

A dismal March jobs report that saw 663,000 Americans completely give up and leave the work force, lowering the labor force participation rate to its lowest since 1979, especially impacted young workers 18-29 years of age, a group that now has a 16.2% effective youth unemployment rate.

1.7 million young workers 18-29 years of age, a group that helped power President Barack Obama to two election victories in 2008 and 2012, have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer counted as "unemployed," joining the nearly 90 million Americans who have done the same and the 9,460,000 Americans who have dropped out of the workforce since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

While the youth unemployment rate for March is 11.7 percent, when the labor force participation rate is factored in, the effective unemployment rate becomes 16.2%. 

Evan Feinberg, president of Generation Opportunity, the non-partisan national organization that released the numbers in its "Millennial Jobs Report for March 2013, said, "March was another lost month for my generation," and "young people are finding fewer opportunities and are being saddled with the costs of our country's unsustainable deficits."

"After years of deficit spending and government meddling in the economy, 1 in 6 of us don’t have a job. Half of us are doing no better than a part-time job," he said. "All the while, we are all stuck with a bill that keeps getting bigger. It’s like we’re the last one to leave the bar and everybody else ran out without paying their tab.”

The economy continues to get worse for young voters. 

According to an Economic Policy Institute report, the wages of college graduates aged 21-24 "dropped 7.6 percent (9.4 percent for men and 6.6 percent for women)" between 2007-12.  In addition, young workers had been struggling even before the Great Recession, as wages of young college graduates decreased 8.5 percent between 2010-2012, according to the report.  

Contrast these numbers with those from 1995 to 2000, when "wages rose 19.1 percent for young college graduates." 


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